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Offline Yanks23

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post ACL knee
« on: September 01, 2005, 07:44:41 PM »
Hope you can help.  Two years ago, I received ACL surgery on my left knee.  The surgery went well.  The physical therapist indicated to me after the first two weeks that I was healing extremely well, and that it was one of the best ACL recoveries he had seen.  The problems started occurring after I had to stop PT (due to the insurance company not covering any more visits).  I noticed, that although I could walk OK and play sports, my left kneecap did not have the normal resting position as my healthy knee.  This, in turn, has caused me to stand a little off kilter, and has started to affect my gait.  My leg seems to be stiffer than when I was doing therapy.  I am starting to get frustrated and am worried that I my leg will always be this stiff - which in turn will affect my quality of life.  I am only 38 and in good shape.  So, the question to this long story is:  is there anything I can do to loosen up a knee that was operated on 2 1/2 years ago?  The flexibility is not the problem.  The extension is the real issue.  Please help.

Offline Nails

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Re: post ACL knee
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2005, 03:21:49 AM »
Have you tried biking? That always makes my knee loosen up and feel better.
I can't really tell you anything else because I have very little experience. I just had my ACL done 10 weeks ago.
Good luck,
ACL Reconstruction June '05 (Hamstring Graft)
MCL Tear Grade III
Bone Bruise
Dried up cartilage on bone
"Its time to release the beast.. Let me play!"
*18 years old*

Offline Heather M.

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Re: post ACL knee
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 10:01:23 AM »
If stiffness and the lack of extension are the main problems, you may need to go back and see your surgeon to be evaluated for a couple of conditions that are common for ACL reconstruction.  One is the formation of excess amounts of scar tissue.  Scar tissue is actually a good thing, because it provides stability to the joint (which is great when you've had a ligament repair).  But sometimes too much scar tissue forms, or it is in places that are very tight and are made imbalanced by the presence of these adhesions.  So this can become problematic in some cases.  Another potential issue that I've heard mentioned is a graft that is too tight.  I'm no ligament expert, but it's my understanding that ligament reconstructions usually loosen a bit during the healing process, so the doctor has to make the graft nice and tight.  But sometimes the estimate of how tight the graft should be is off, and the patient ends up with a too tight ACL.  Or there can be graft impingement.  These are just a couple of things I've heard mentined over the years, so you will eally need to talk to ACL folks for more ideas, and definitely see your doctor.

Another thing that might help you a lot in the meantime is myo-fascial release or one of the other deep tissue therapeutic massage techniques.  Other deep tissue techniques include ROLF massage, Heller work, trigger point/acupressure, and Shiatsu (though this last hasn't been as effective for me).  I have a lot of scar tissue in my knee and have really been helped by myo-fascial release done by my physical therapist.

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2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja

Offline ksg

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Re: post ACL knee
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2005, 11:01:13 PM »
This also happened to me after my acl surgery. If you do not have full extension of your knee and you are walking around with a bent knee then its not your quad taking on all that wear and tear but your ligaments. That is why your quad may start to acctually shrink and become weak causing your knee to become more bent and making it harder and harder for you to maintain full extension.  I am not a doctor or anything that is just what happened to me so maybe this might be the problem in your case.  If your quad is weaker you need to see your doctor again so he can allow you to return to physical therapy.  Or you need to do some serious quad and hamstring strenghthening on your own. But I suggest you go back to your doctor or you will begin to feel some serious patella femeral pain eventually.

good luck

Offline Alla

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Re: post ACL knee
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2005, 02:01:32 PM »
HI there
I agree with ksg.  Fortunately I havent had any scar tissue issues with my ACL reco (touch wood), but I do know what the effects of a weakened quad muscle is and it is way more then I expected.  I have found that because my quad is so wasted my petella actually maltracks and causes quite a bit of discomfort.  Fortunately as I have been gaining quad muscle, the petella maltracking issue has been getting better, and my OS says that it will completely resolve once I have my muscle back.  As ksg said.... if you are really worried, go back and chat to your dr about it. 

Torn ACL December 04
ACL Reco May 05
Cleared to return to sport May 06